In this study, a new classification of fingertip amputation based on the surgical treatment is reported. Specifically, the necessity for special procedures to prevent venous congestion in fingertip replantation at the nail bed level was studied. There are some reports of successful replantations without venous anastomoses. In order to avoid technical factors, clinical cases operated on by a single surgeon were evaluated to determine what treatment is necessary for amputations at various levels to avoid necrosis due to venous congestion. During the 5-year period from October 1987 to October 1992, 150 replantations in 137 patients were performed, including 49 fingertip replantations in 45 patients who were operated on consecutively by a single surgeon. The distal phalanx (DP) of the finger was classified as zone DP-I, HA, KB, and III from distal to proximal. This classification was based not only on the amputation level but also on the difference in surgical treatment. For amputations of zone DP-I, which extends from the fingertip to the most distal dividing point of the digital artery, the amputated fingertip is attached without vascular anastomosis and the whole finger is wrapped in aluminium foil and cooled in ice water for 3 days. For amputations of zone DP-IIA and KB, anastomosis of the digital artery is performed in the central portion of the palmar region of the finger, but Kirschner wire fixation is not performed so as not to disturb the venous drainage through the medullary cavity. For amputations of zone DP-IIA, special treatment is not necessary for venous congestion, and for those of zone DP-IIB partial resection of the nail is done if necessary. For zone DP-I I amputations, venous anastomosis must be performed for salvage. All patients were operated on according to the procedures based on this classification and final survival rate was 91.5%.